This first release of a C R Sandidge sparkling wine is made from grapes grown in both the 2012 and 2013 vintages. Eastern Washington State is superb grape growing country. The Lake Chelan growing region is particularly known for producing exceptional grapes for sparkling wines. Both growing seasons represented “normal” grape growing conditions. Nice fairly warm – dry spring. As the year progressed, less and less rain fell giving way to warm sunny days. Harvest commenced during the first week of September under blue skies and cool morning temperatures.
Our 2012 and 2013 Chardonnay fruit was harvested from the south – southwest facing Dry Lake Vineyard. Both vintages of Pinot Noir were picked from the south – southwest facing Amos Rome 98 vineyard. While both sites are facing the same direction, they are quite a bit different when the subject of soil type arises. Dry Lake soil is definitely loaded with glacial remnants. A lot of round rock deposited some 8,000 years ago. Amos Rome 98 soil is fairly deep with quite a lot of fine gravel, silt and sand.
All fruit was hand – picked, sorted and destemmed and whole cluster pressed. The juice was chilled while being pressed and allowed to settle for three days prior to being racked to a stainless steel tank. A slow 24 day fermentation was conducted. Once finished with the primary fermentation, the wine as re-inoculated with fresh yeast, sugar and yeast food for the tirage bottling. Three years of storage on the yeast resulted in a sparkling wine possessing immense depth and presentation.
Pale straw color with aromas and flavors of ripe Bartlett pear, golden delicious apple and brioche best describe the Tyee. Finished as a Brut, the sugar acid balance is spot on. Not to tart, not too sweet. Juuuuust right. The mouthfeel is crisp, full and satisfying. Best enjoyed with those ripe sheep or cow’s milk cheeses possessing a little bit of funk such as a triple cream brie, Chaource or a nice tangy blue. Cheese not your thing, try with lox, spot prawns or a yummy crab cake. A rich – cheesy mushroom risotto also seals the deal. All in all, our Tyee is a very nice bottle of bubbly!